“Christian” was originally a nickname given to followers of Jesus by people who saw them and were reminded of Jesus. It simply meant “people who are like Jesus”. So, a Christian is someone who is like Jesus in the things they say and the life they live.
The very earliest Christians literally followed Jesus. They went where he went, copied what he did, embodied what he said. All this came out of a close relationship with Jesus, born out of mutual trust, the sort of trust where a person is willing to trust you with their life. After Jesus death and resurrection anyone who is prepared to trust him with their life actually gets to share in the life of Jesus...to become like him...to become Christian.
So first and foremost, Christianity is about “relationships rather than rules. It is about a Person more than a philosophy” (Nicky Gumbel “Why Jesus?”)
You might wonder why having a relationship with God isn’t just something that happens automatically...and why that relationship comes through a relationship with Jesus. Well, put very briefly, the Christian explanation for this is that all humans were designed to live in a close relationship with God, but have rejected God, preferring to live life our own way. Consequently, our lives and our world has been messed up.
But God loved the world and its people, so he sent Jesus to help us find our way back to him. Jesus demonstrated, by the things he said and did, what a life lived in partnership with God can look like. Inevitably, some people didn’t like what Jesus said and did, so they had him killed. However, God brought him back to life, validating the things that Jesus said and did, and the life that he lived. Through his death Jesus made a way for each of us to recover the relationship with God that had been lost, and to live life the way it was meant to be lived
You can find out more about Christianity and becoming a Christian by clicking on one of the links below.
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Alpha is a course for people wanting to find out more about following Jesus.
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